Investment group swoops for Thetford’s United Forktrucks

Simon Orange founder and chairman of CorpAcq. Picture submitted

Simon Orange founder and chairman of CorpAcq. Picture submitted - Credit: Archant

An investment group has tightened its grip on the fork lift truck industry by snapping up a firm in Norfolk.

CorpAcq has bought out four shareholders of Thetford-based United Forktrucks which has a turnover of £6.5m and employs 86 staff across England.

The move will see the East Anglian company keep its brand name but operate as part of the west Lancashire-based Carrylift Group, which is also owned by CorpAcq.

The deal broadens Carrylift's geographical reach by adding eight depots across the Midlands and southern England on top of operations in Gateshead, Glasgow, Shotton on Deeside and Stoke.

Simon Orange, the founder and chairman of CorpAcq, said: 'This is our fourth acquisition in the materials handling sector and represents an excellent bolt-on for Carrylift. There are great operational synergies between the businesses.


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'The acquisition enables Carrylift to extend its geographical reach into the south, where until now it has had little presence. It also assists Carrylift in serving national customers more effectively.

'Using the experience of Carrylift's management team, we will be exploring opportunities to expand United Forktrucks further.

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'CorpAcq continues to seek suitable acquisition opportunities with a number of deals in the pipeline for completion over the next few months.'

Paul Nichol and Rodney Forder, will remain as managing director and maintenance manager of United Forktrucks respectively, while finance director Chris Compson is staying on as a consultant.

Altrincham-based CorpAcq, which earlier this year secured a £25m funding boost from corporate credit specialist Alcentra, owns businesses in the building services, manufacturing, precision engineering, packaging and plant and generator hire sectors in addition to materials handling.

Lee Teste, of Summerlin Corporate Finance, and Mary Erb, of law firm Fieldfisher, advised CorpAcq on the United Forktrucks acquisition. Geoff Hazlewood, head of the corporate and commercial team at East Anglian law firm Ashton KCJ, advised the United Forktruck shareholders.

• Do you have a business story for the Eastern Daily Press? Contact business editor Ben Woods on 01603 772426 or email ben.woods@archant.co.uk

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